Here’s a reply to a follow-up e-mail from my former Clemson student Bobby Hester (who, I report, was a student not in any economics class that I taught but, rather, in one of my business-law classes) (link added):
Dear Mr. Hester:
Thanks for your reply.
You say that I am “naïve to forget about” the “unfairly low prices which the Chinese ruling elite impose on us.”
Please. Low prices in America – especially if they are made artificially low at the expense of non-Americans – are no imposition on Americans; they are a blessing to Americans. (Do you think that we earthlings would be made richer if our rulers adopt policies that require us to start paying more for the light and heat that we have until now imported from the sun at the low price of $0? If not, why do you think that we Americans would be made richer if our rulers adopt policies that require us to start paying more for the goods that we have until now imported from China at low prices?)
Also, Chinese low wages are largely the consequence of the Chinese people being enslaved, tyrannized, and impoverished for decades by an unspeakably cruel Maoist regime. Do you honestly believe that this terrible history gives the Chinese people today an unfair economic advantage over Americans? If so, you must regret that we Americans were denied the advantage-rich experience of being forced to live in a collectivized, starvation-ridden society ruled by murderous despots. My gosh! If we, too, could today boast the horrifying recent history of China, then we, too, might be as poor as the Chinese and, hence, we, too, would enjoy – as do today’s Chinese – all the splendid “advantages” bestowed by such an impoverishing history!
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030